INDIA – The National Health Authority (NHA) under its flagship scheme of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) has announced the integration with the official national contact tracing app in India- Aarogya Setu.

The mobile app, developed by National Informatics Centre under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s (MeitY) not only tracks COVID-19 cases but also provides users with COVID-19-related information, such as protocol updates and services.

It employs Bluetooth technology and real-time location data to assess a user’s risk of becoming exposed to a nearby COVID-19 case.

The app, which was released in April 2020, is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. The integration will allow Aarogya Setu app users to take advantage of the benefits of ABDM.

With this integration, approximately 214 million users of the national contact tracing app can generate their own 14-digit ABHA (Ayushman Bharat Health Account) number through the ABDM.

The health ID enables users to link existing and new medical records to their health account and share them with healthcare providers.

The ABDM aims to develop the backbone required to support the country’s integrated digital health infrastructure, whereas the ABHA number is the user’s health ID, which allows those registered to access and share their health records digitally.

The user can generate their ABHA number by entering their Aadhaar number as well as some basic demographic information such as their name, date of birth, gender, and address.

If the user does not want to use their Aadhaar, they can generate the ABHA number using their driving license or mobile number.

Furthermore, the ABHA number can also be used to link existing and new medical records, such as doctor prescriptions, lab reports, hospital records, and so on, and to share these records with registered health professionals and health service providers while maintaining a common pool of medical history.

Aarogya Setu joins the growing list of mobile apps that integrate with the Aarogya Bharat Health Account.

Elaborating on the integration, R.S. Sharma, CEO, NHA said: “Aarogya Setu has played a pivotal role amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. This has resulted in a wide usage of the mobile application. As vaccination helps us fight this pandemic, it was essential to repurpose this widely used digital public good.

With the integration of Aarogya Setu with ABDM, we will now be able to make the benefits of ABDM available to the users of Aarogya Setu and enable them to join the digital health ecosystem, with their due consent,” he added.

The Aarogya Setu app is already used for Covid contact tracing, ICMR guidelines-based self-assessment, vaccine booking, certificate download and status check, generating e-Pass, and searching for Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-approved Covid testing labs, among other things.

Aarogya Setu joins the growing list of mobile health apps that work with the ABHA. DRiefcase, a personal health records app, and Docon Technologies, an EMR platform, received government approval to connect with ABHA earlier this month.

The app was integrated with the CoWIN portal in March of last year, allowing users to book their COVID-19 vaccinations through the app.

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